A CAUTIONARY TALE | #FlashbackFriday

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A CAUTIONARY TALE | #FlashbackFriday

Flashback Friday, introduced by Michael G. D’Agostino of A Life Examined and hosted by Jemima Pett, is a monthly blogfest, occurring on the last Friday. Michael’s directive: “Republish an old post of yours that maybe didn’t get enough attention, or that you’re really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc.” Please add your link to the list at the end of the post if you’d like to join in.


A cautionary tale!

This was my winning entry for the WORDS: WRITE TRIBE CONTEST # 1  in July, 2013

Using the specified words:

postcard, coin, tidy, wild, help, calendar, responsibility 

Click HERE to view the original post and comments.

Danielle was completely drained and living a workaholic nightmare!

Her underlings had been let go as a “cost cutting measure” and she was the only one left. That’s too much responsibility for one person.

Welcome to Corporate Hell!

She desperately needed help.  Working 60 hours a week was becoming the norm and her personal life was practically non-existent. Thankfully, her husband, Mario, was understanding and often drove Danielle to the office on the way to his weekly Sunday soccer game. How pathetic! The rest of the world enjoys life and she drowns in a sea of paperwork.

A CAUTIONARY TALE | #FlashbackFriday

Time for a vacation! 

Grabbing her desk calendar, she started riffling through the pages. Her husband’s employer would be having the yearly maintenance shutdown next month, so that was ideal. Sadly, they rarely went anywhere, because of her job. He hung out with his friends and she went to work. So pitiful. Time to let loose and get wild!

Leave your cares behind! 

Although she was entitled to four weeks’ vacation, (at least seniority was good for something), Danielle’s boss vetoed the idea of her taking more than two weeks off in a row. He said her job was “too important” to be away that long. Well damn! It would take two weeks just to “deprogram”, never mind recuperate, but it was better than nothing.

So, the big question was, where should they go? Mario was not one to express preferences; whatever Danielle liked was fine with him. This was sometimes frustrating. She couldn’t help feeling he may actually have wanted something different but wouldn’t say.

Road Trip. A Cautionary Tale

They both enjoyed spontaneous road trips. Pick a direction, map out a few possible stops along the way and go . She handed him a coinHeads for west tails for east. West it was!

The last day at work was hectic, but Danielle managed to tidy her desk by the end of it. She regarded the empty surface ruefully, knowing full well that catching up afterwards would be horrendous. That didn’t matter anymore; time to get a life! Smiling broadly, she waved goodbye.

The next morning, Mario loaded up the car as Danielle finished dressing. They were both eager to experience that freedom road. Getting in, she gave his arm a playful squeeze and said: “Remind me to send my mother a postcard. She loves to get mail”.

They hit the asphalt; radio tuned to their favourite station.
Ah, this was the life!

Exploring less-travelled routes and unusual places was part of the fun. No traffic for miles, but suddenly, a large, out of control van came speeding at them and didn’t stop. The impact of the head-on collision shattered the stillness of the countryside.

A CAUTIONARY TALE | #FlashbackFriday wrecked car

There would be no more vacations for Danielle and Mario.

Although the characters’ names and the car crash are fictional,
the general circumstances were taken from my life during the late 1980s.

Ironic how the so-called “important job”  was so easily eliminated a few years later!

On their deathbed, does anyone ever regret not spending more time at the office?

What do you think?

carpe diem

Are you or were you ever a workaholic?

Do you regret it?

Looking forward to your comments!


Next #FlashbackFriday is on November 25th. See you there!
Enjoy the other entries, shown below.
Add your link if you want to join the blogfest:


Tuesday Nov. 1st
Battle of the Bands
Who did it best? Vote for your favourite!

Monday, November 7th
Question of the month
Kiss and tell!

Join us, will you?

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Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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23 thoughts on “A CAUTIONARY TALE | #FlashbackFriday

  1. I’ve truly never been a work-a-holic. I get my time in and take off. I don’t let it fret me either. As Dolly Parton once sang, I’m spending all my time putting money in ‘their’ pockets. Even if I go home and do nothing, I’m comfortable with that. But fortunately, I have other pursuits, writing, photography and the such. But I do know work-a-holics. Usually these are the people who have hard-core invested interest in the office. Outside of that, I’ve never understood being a work-a-holic. Glad the car-crash was fictional. That ending certainly came on quick and without warning. Much like a true life auto accident (as I’ve been in a few).

    1. That’s the best attitude, Jeffrey and wish I could have been more like that. As it was, I suffered a bad case of burnout and was actually relieved to get out, in the end. Yes, good thing the crash is fictional, but I’m betting this might have happened to someone, somewhere.

  2. Ouch! Yeah, I can’t imagine thinking “gee, I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” I’m more of the “so many mountains, so little time,” sort, and we’ll be retiring soon to maximize our exploration of the world.

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Unfortunately, you hear about this type of thing a lot. It’s sad that many take life for granted and don’t say how they feel when they feel it. Life is way too short to have regrets. Live for today. Great story.

    Have a great weekend!


    1. Glad to know you are enjoying life to the fullest, Mary Lou. 🙂 Work is overrated, in my opinion, too. Although we are still plugging away at it, my husband and I make a concerted effort to enjoy a more hedonistic lifestyle.

  4. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    Corporate Hell turned into Vacation from Hell. I’m relieved to know that the car crash in your autobiographical tale was fictional. I can relate to your story because I endured similar circumstances twice in my career, first as a news producer in the late 70s through early 80s and again in the late 80s and 90s in my position as head of production for the MTV station. The first station kept costs down by refusing to create the positions of associate producer and assignment editor, requiring me, the producer, to write more copy, edit more videotape, compose graphics and coordinate with reporters in the field on story coverage, live shots and logistical matters. As TV news in general grew in importance and advanced technologically through the 70s, I found myself going to work hours earlier than before to get a head start, thereby working much longer shifts to get the newscasts on the air. To avoid burnout I hunted for and found a better producing job in Florida at a station in a much larger media market where APs and AEs were part of the news staff. Eventually I got tired of news and moved to entertainment, working at that third station. Like the first job, the third one consumed an enormous amount of my time. The big difference was that I was finally doing something I could frame as fun rather than work, and I got to meet and hang with all those rock stars, etc. Therefore, if the question is “On their deathbed, does anyone ever regret not spending more time at the office?” then I would answer as follows. If you do it right, if you find a way to turn work into play, then yes, it is possible to regret spending more time at the office. 🙂

    Thank you very much, dear Debbie. Have a great weekend and a safe trip to the U.S. of A.

    1. Thanks for sharing your corporate experiences, Shady. 🙂 I’m glad you finally found the “perfect” job. I guess that would be the dog business for me, but even that has its downsides. We are trying to live a more hedonistic lifestyle these days. Life is short and you never know what will happen tomorrow.

  5. I used to work horrendous hours at my job. Most of the time I loved it, but there were definitely times I needed a holiday. Fortunately, going on holiday was encouraged where I worked so I definitely got breaks when needed.

    1. Sounds like your employer was more attuned to the needs of the staff. The standards where I worked were impossible to maintain after the recession hit and so many were let go.

  6. That was such a horrendous end! This story reminds of one of the video of my favorite tracks, “I could be the one,” by Avicii. It’s almost on the same lines but instead of a couple its a woman who decides to chuck her corporate job and enjoy life, just to get hit by a vehicle as she steps out of the office. Such is life, we think we have the time but we don’t. Thanks for reminding me to keep that in mind, Debbi.

  7. I’ve often worked long hard hours, but I’ve been happy in my work and the time spent didn’t seem to matter since I liked what I was doing. The story you told is a tragic one, but one of those mysterious ironies of life that seems to come to some people. Very sad really.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. It’s all about balance, in my opinion. If you’re self-employed and/or love what you’re doing that’s one thing. When it starts to feel like you’re missing out on life and serving a jail sentence, then it’s time to reassess. That’s where I was at, at the time.